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Posts tagged ‘poo’

Have you ever heard of infant potty training (also known as elimination communication)? I heard of it when my daughter was almost 12 months old, which was a bit late to start. She was a bit unusual, though, and basically initiated potty training on her own and was in panties by 19 months old. Basically, though, the idea of IPT is that you learn your baby’s signals and take them potty from a very young age. It is commonly practiced in places like India and many primitive cultures where diapers just aren’t used. There are various levels of IPT, also–everything from trying to catch every pee and poo, even getting tiny underpants that are the equivalent of size 2 diapers, to a very relaxed “I’ll get what I can and forget the rest” attitude. One cannot really consider their child truly potty trained until somewhere around 18 months to 2 years, but it can simplify the process considerably for those who keep it up.

With my first son, I tried to be more diligent, and we did pretty well for a while, but then his eczema just got too out of control, and I gave up trying. He finally learned to do #1 in the potty less than 3 months ago, and we’re still working on #2…

With little Rafael, I decided it was worth it to try. After all, every poo I catch is one less poopy diaper to clean out, and it’s pretty easy to catch pee, too. The truth is, babies really don’t want to go in their diapers–hence the likelihood that they will pee as soon as their diaper comes off, especially when really little. That tends to go away after a few months as they learn to go in the diaper and get used to it.

Anyhow, I guess you could say I’m on the more relaxed end the continuum. However, I have noticed that if I take my baby right after a feeding (instead of relaxing for 10 minutes and cuddling), he will almost always pee, and often will poo too. Sometimes I take him before a feeding, or any time I notice him grunting. Even if it’s just gas, the way I hold him seems to help.

So how do I hold him? I hold his thighs with my hands, his back to my tummy. Often my thumbs stick up and he will grab them with his hands. I hold him over the sink in the bathroom (it’s a lot easier on my back than bending over the toilet, and at this stage he’s too little to sit on the potty). In this position, I can bring his knees closer to his chest if I desire, especially alternately, and this can help get things going, too. I watch his face to see if he is relaxed or if he is concentrating; there is a look that I have learned already in less than 2 weeks that usually tells me whether he has more to do or whether he is all done.

Even Daddy is picking up on the signals. He noticed this morning that Ralfie was grunting, and thought, I wonder if he has to go poo. Sure enough, a couple minutes later, he filled up his diaper.

Sometimes I don’t always avoid keeping the diaper clean. This afternoon he pooped a little bit before I got him to the bathroom. However, he did a whole bunch in the sink–the kind that leaks around the legs and soils baby clothes. In fact, as long as I am diligent to take him after every meal, I almost never have to worry about washing out baby clothes, because diapers never leak! Of course, cloth diapers leak less than disposables, but still, they can leak. It also stretches out how long the cloth diapers last, because fewer of them are getting soiled and even wet. He’s been known to stay dry through a nap and go when he woke up.

So how long will I keep this up? As long as practical. Right now it’s a trade-off: a few minutes a day holding him over the sink verses washing and folding the diapers that would have been soiled if I hadn’t. Cleaning his bottom is a breeze–I just grab a bit of toilet paper and wipe, instead of using a bunch of wipies to clean everything from the middle of his back to his knees. So maybe it doesn’t save time, but it doesn’t really take extra time, either, and does save money (fewer diapers to wash, so fewer loads of laundry).

And hopefully he will be fully potty trained before the age of 2. That would be the biggest blessing!

As a side benefit, it seems that his big brother is taking a clue from the baby. He started telling us when he had gone in his pants, instead of waiting for us to notice the smell. Hopefully he will start telling us before he goes, but for now it’s a step in the right direction!

Have you ever heard of Infant Potty Training? Ever tried it? What was your experience? Would you consider trying it again, or for the first time if you never have tried it? I’d love to hear your feedback!

If I had thought of it, I would have put Potty Training My Son as one of my goals to be reached by the end of this year, if possible. I mean, he turns two this month, so that is not an unrealistic goal.

With my daughter, I would try putting her on the potty off and on every few months, and suddenly she started telling me when she was wet, then when she was almost wet, then with time to take her potty… I put panties on her at 19 months.

My son is a whole different story! Partly because of his eczema, I gave up on the infant potty training I was doing with him from early on (about 2 weeks old), and because we had carpet I didn’t want to experiment with it too much. Also we were in limbo–not sure when or where we would move. Now we are stable, buying a house, have hard floors in every room except the office, and I got crazy brave and decided to try it this week.

I figured it was worth a try. I’m not going to push it if he doesn’t show progress by the end of the week. But he seems to be aware of his bodily functions. He has come up to me a few times, patting his bottom and saying “poo poo.” If he sees pee, he will mention it. I have been talking about “pee pee diapers” when I change him, and “poo poo diapers” too.

Yesterday, I let him run around sans diaper for a couple of hours. During that time, I netted about 3 piles of poo and a few more wet spots. Because of course he would never do it while sitting ON the potty–always had to wait for about 30-60 seconds after getting up! Fortunately my to-do load was light, so I just talked about it to him and cleaned up. (Thank goodness for a steam mop to help clean up!!)

Today, I decided to put him on the potty this morning after he had finished breakfast while I swept around the kitchen and living room. I gave him a book and let him entertain himself while I cleaned. As I was cleaning up the piles I had swept up, I heard him saying, “Pee pee, pee pee.” I figured he must have gone and went to investigate.

We picked this potty specifically because of the extra-high pee guard. But there are limits to even the tallest of those. Such as when a boy decides to see what that thing is that spends so much time hiding under his diaper–and decides to pee at the same time!

There was pee on the book–the open book. There was pee on the floor. There was pee down his pajama legs. There was pee on the front of the potty. And, wonder of wonders, there was actually pee inside the potty, too! Roughly 1/4 inch, I think. So I grabbed a shammy (the best things for soaking up puddles–I need to get more of them!) and wiped down all wet spots, then rewiped with wet cloth. Then I took my now naked boy (since his one-piece PJ’s were now wet) to the bathroom with the container of pee to ceremoniously flush it down the toilet. He got to pour it in and flush, and he loved it. I didn’t scold him for the mess, just reminded him with a smile that “pee pee goes in the potty” and whisked him off for the bath that he would have taken anyway even if he hadn’t made a big mess.

Day 2 of attempted potty training has begun. So wish me luck!